People tend to notice pregnant women, and even strangers will sometimes have something to say about the state of your fertility. Some people may think they are being brilliantly creative, while others apparently just automatically say the same old things to pregnant women.
Now some of this attention will come from people who just love pregnant women. But then there are others who seem to think if you are pregnant you're fair game for whatever pops into their heads.
Pregnant women understandably love the nice comments. But the dumb and annoying comments get old really fast, and nine months is a long time to be wishing you could plug your ears or walk away from someone who is making you want to rip your hair out.
I was pregnant four times, with five babies, and while it was some time ago, it wasn't THAT long ago. Lots of people thought having so many kids was downright odd and I was on the receiving end of plenty of annoying comments.
If you've ever been pregnant you too have probably heard all of these at one time or another. Or a lot.
1) How many have you got in there?
Like you're not already struggling not to feel like you are just plain ol' fat. You remind yourself that this is a baby but it's hard, especially when thoughtless people make rude remarks.
2) You're probably having twins. Or triplets.
Somewhat different from #1 because on top of feeling like you are fill-the-world fat, you are now wondering how you can manage with two babies or three or ...
3) Do you really think you should bring another child into this world?
This especially if you already have a child, or more than one. The world-population police will have their eye on you, and so will the morality police — the ones who find the world such a miserable place that you shouldn't be putting your child in it.
These people are buzzkills. Don't listen to them.
4) Wow! You've put on a lot of weight!
Yeah. Here's another way for inconsiderate people to ruin a pregnant lady's day. The extra weight, and the heaviness of carrying that baby, are causing this mom-to-be all kinds of discomfort and inconvenience, and sometimes serious health issues.
Do not kick a pregnant person when she is weighed down.
5) Nobody ever loses their baby weight.
Well, this is not even true. Lots of people lose the extra pounds. And don't let these same boors chastise you later for not losing it fast enough to suit them.
It takes months, often over a year, for pregnancy weight to go for the average new mom. Don't be in a hurry. Let things take their proper time. Pick up your bathroom scales and heave them at the mean person.
6) Your body will never be the same again.
Well, yes, there's some truth to this one. But you can make someone cry with the finality that rings from this statement. And really, why should you look the same after?
Pregnancy and birth are astonishing amazing occurrences. You've sheltered another human being in your body for nine months. And what's wrong with not being quite the same again? Nothing, my dear. Not a thing. Shrug it off.
7) Let me tell you about my labor. It was awful!
Run — don't walk — away from these people and their horror stories. It's not for your benefit, it's boasting to a captive audience, and attempting to sound superior. "Look what I've been through, you little beginner you."
Listening to this will not help to prepare you for your own labor. It can, however, scare the daylights out of you. Don't let them do this to you.
8) Haven't you had that baby yet?
In the last months, especially during the last weeks, this can be really annoying. Many moms-to-be shut off their phones, don't go out, and don't talk to anybody in that last week or so ... or especially if they have gone past their due date without having delivered on their promise.
Yes, people are excited and impatient to see your baby. But not nearly as much as you are. You don't have to humor them. When there's news to give, you will tell them.
9) Can I touch it?
This may be said as they reach into your personal space and put their hands on your belly. It's astonishing what some people think is OK. People who don't even know you put their hands on you.
I don't think it's much better with people you don't know well to do it either. There is probably a very small number of people you're going to feel comfortable about doing this. And even they should wait until you've invited them, at least the first time.
Rule of thumb — If the pregnant lady doesn't say "Wanna touch it?" keep your hands to yourself.
10) You shouldn't eat/drink this or that.
Most pregnant women take the health and safety of their babies very seriously. And most pregnant women have had somebody or other poke his or her nose into their business.
A word to those who feel compelled to police pregnant women — Don't. Leave them alone. They can figure out what to eat or drink, and what to avoid, without your two cents.
The best thing you can do for any pregnant woman is to be supportive in any and every way you can think of. Don't tell her horror stories, or question her judgment and abilities. Encourage her. Better yet, tell her to sit down or have a sleep while you wash her dishes or do her laundry.
A pregnant woman is doing very important, very hard, work every minute of the day. Make her happy while she is doing it.
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